Simple, stylish and seasonal – DIY nail art for the holidays

With the holidays looming, a lot of us want to start throwing some festive cheer into our everyday wear. While some will throw on a Christmas jumper and call it a day, others want to be a little more creative with what they put together. Personally, I can never find a jumper I really love, and never get round to knitting one early enough in the year to have it done by December. But, on the other hand (pun only slightly intended), I love false nails, and nail art in general. While I may not be quite Pinterest level just yet, I’d like to say I’m working my way up to it.

I used five simple patterns on my nails, which I’ve described below, but if you feel confident enough you can get as complex as you like. I also used false nails because it meant that I could continue with everything I needed to do while I waited for the designs to dry, and I would have a slightly larger canvas to decorate, but if you want to paint directly onto your natural nails then it’ll still have a similar effect.


  • An unfolded hair pin
  • A thin brush (a lipstick brush is ideal)
  • Acrylic paint set
  • Black, white and gold nail polish, plus one other colour of choice
  • Clear top coat
  • False nails and glue (optional – false nails)
  • Base coat (optional – natural nails)


Each pattern will start off in the same way. If you’re working on your natural nails, file them and apply a base coat. If you’re working with false nails, stick a bit of Blu-Tack under the nail, where it will be glued on, and stick it down to a stable surface.

O’ Christmas Tree

Start with a solid white coat over the nail. Once that has dried, use the thin brush to apply a triangle of green acrylic paint to the centre of the nail. Once that has dried considerably, used the hair pin to gently dab red and yellow acrylic baubles along the tree. Clean off the paint, and dab a drop of gold as the star on the tip of the tree.

Over the Fields of Snow

Apply a black coat of nail polish to the whole nail. Once that has dried. Used the lipstick brush to apply white paint to the bottom third of the nail, then use the hair pin to dab white snowfall on the rest of the nail.

Star of Bethlehem

This could have a white or a black background, so start with a base of your choice. Once it’s dried, use the hair pin, dipped in gold nail polish, to draw a very fine line down the centre, with another, shorter, line bisecting it. Draw curves connecting the line ends together, then fill until solid.

Frosty the Snowman

Start with the white as a base coat. Once dry, use the bobby pin to dab black dots for the eyes and buttons, and an orange dot for the nose. Apply a thin line of red for the snowman’s scarf, and add two smaller lines to one side for the ends of the scarf.

No Time Like the Present

I used a red nail polish, but pick whatever colour you want for the wrapping paper base. Once dry, apply a thin cross in a different colour, although gold looks the most Christmassy with the red base.

festive nail art 2015

For all of the patterns, once they’ve dried completely, they end with the same step. If you’re using false nails, stick them on very carefully. Once all the nails have been painted and attached, apply a coat of the clear polish – this will protect the designs, and will also ensure a glossy finish.